Heartland Express Inc. on Tuesday, April 17, announced that operating revenues for the first quarter ended March 31 increased 5.6 percent to $134.8 million from $127.7 million in the first quarter of 2011. Net income was $16.6 million compared to $14.9 million. Fuel surcharge revenues increased 15.9 percent to $28.0 million from $24.2 million.
The North Liberty, Iowa-based company posted an operating ratio of 82.4 percent and a 12.3 percent net margin compared to 82.9 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively. Operating income increased $1.9 million or 8.7 percent despite increasing fuel prices and a sluggish economy, an increase Heartland attributed to improved utilization.
“Recruiting and retaining safe and experienced drivers is a primary focus of our organization,” the company said. “We achieved fleet growth in the first quarter for the first time in the past five quarters.”